It’s cold out there, but as cyclists that’s not going to stop us riding. If you’ve been reading our Autumn/Winter Special articles, you’ll see there’s plenty of high-tech kit out there that will keep you riding. French company Ekoi have come up with a new set of heated gloves and overshoes that could spell the end to frozen extremities; they’re calling it the Ekoi Heat Concept.
Motor-cyclists and winter sport fans have been familiar with battery-powered thermal clothing for a while now, but they’re still rare on the cycling scene. Ekoi have taken the existing technology and adapted it to the demands of cyclists. Both the gloves and overshoes use 7.4V, 2500mA Lithium Polymer batteries to provide the power to warm those fingers and toes.
Riding in the winter and dealing with cold is part of being a cyclist; unless you live in the Tropics. Doesn’t mean you have to suffer though! The days of multiple layers of sopping wet woollen kit are thankfully long past and this kind of technology could be the end to frozen extremities. It’s all well and good trying to live up to the Rules, but cycling is meant to enjoyable!
Ekoi’s Heat Concept gloves are made from a waterproof and breathable material called Hipora®, which they use in their waterproof gloves. The palm is reinforced and has silicone panels to aid with grip and the wrist is long to keep out draughts. The gloves are designed as cycling gloves, so all the reinforcing and padding is sited in the right places to keep you comfortable and in control.
A button sits on the back of each glove and this is what you use to control the heat. The batteries supply power to a network of fine wires inside the gloves and it’s these that provide the heat. The button changes colour to indicate how much heat is being produced; green for 25°, yellow for 30°, orange for 35°, and red for 40°. The batteries should last for two to five hours depending on how much power you are using. Three sizes are available and the gloves retail for €139.95.
The Heat Concept overshoes use the same technology and power source as the gloves, to provide heat to a pair of neoprene overshoes. Ekoi’s overshoes are made from a 4mm neoprene, which is a good material to start with and what most cyclists will be familiar with. A single velcro strap under the sole helps fine tune the fit and they fasten up via a zip on the rear, with another velcro strap to hold the top together. A reinforced toe and heel should help with longevity and there are reflective details on the rear.
The power button sits at the top of the outside of the overshoe and uses the same system of colour changes to indicate how much heat is being supplied. I must admit that cold toes are one of my least favourite things. Cold hands I don’t suffer with too much, but the sight of my blue frozen toes always has me questioning why I didn’t just do a turbo session? So I am looking forward to seeing how these overshoes fare in the coming cold weather. Available in sizes M (40/42) L (43/45) and XL (45/47). Suggested retail price: €169.95
Interestingly Ekoi recommend turning the power off “In the event of heavy rainfall”. This could be a problem for long cold and wet rides; hopefully you’ll have a chance to warm up before any downfall. Alternatively you can soldier on knowing that once it stops warmth is only a button press away! We’ll try to get a pair of the Ekoi Heat Concept gloves and overshoes to review this winter and will report back on how they fare.
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